Oldham Shared Lives is a service for those that need support in living life to the full.

It relies on a network of Shared Lives Carers who receive an allowance of between £13k - £21k per year (amount dependant on circumstances and level of care required) to help give that support. We’re incredibly lucky in Oldham to have brilliant carers like Anne, who you’ll be able to read about below.

We would love to meet more like Anne, who are willing and able to be long-term Shared Lives Carers, giving support to someone like Lesley who might present with physical, learning or sensory difficulties or a mental health problem.

Lesley is a lady with Down’s Syndrome who was fostered as a child. She lived happily with her foster parents (or rather ‘Mum and Dad’ as she refers to them!) for many years until sadly her foster Mum passed away. She carried on living with her foster Dad for a number of years after losing Mum but it was apparent that Lesley’s Dad was finding it increasingly difficult to look after her as he would have wanted and intended.

As you can imagine, despite knowing it was the right thing to do, it was difficult for Dad to relinquish care for Lesley and it took a while to find the right option for her.

Thankfully in Anne, the right option came to light through the Oldham Shared Lives Service.

Anne had initially offered to be a short-term carer. The arrangement first made for Lesley to live with Anne was going to be exactly that – short-term – until another carer was found.

However, the more they shared their time and their home, the more obvious it became to Lesley, Anne and the Shared Lives team that the two of them should make the arrangement more permanent.

Anne’s been Lesley’s long-term carer for nearly seven years now. And until last year when he too sadly passed away, Lesley’s Dad visited regularly. Something that had been so important to all three of them. We’re incredibly proud of Anne and all the carers like her in Oldham who provide tremendous support to those in the town that really need it.

Could you be a long-term Shared Lives Carer in your hometown of Oldham? Are you over 18 years of age and able to work with vulnerable people? Do you have a spare room in your home? If so, we want to hear from you! We are seeking people with a strong value base and who are keen to make a big difference to someone in their community.

Whilst it’s not a paid position, as mentioned above an allowance of £13k – £21k per year is given to carers to help them offer this support. Carers also receive four weeks paid respite a year and are eligible for a discount scheme. The Oldham Shared Lives team are on hand 24 hours a day, 7 days a week throughout the year to support this network of incredibly special people.

To register your interest or to find out more, contact the team...

- Call: 0161 770 8777
- Email: SharedLivesTeam@oldham.gov.uk

Thanks for taking the time to read Anne and Leslie's story. Please do share it with your friends. 

We look forward to hearing from some special Oldhamers!